High Sensitivity of Arctic Liquid Clouds to Long-Range Anthropogenic Aerosol Transport

Q. Coopman, T. J. Garrett, D. P. Finch, J. Riedi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 4 Citations

Abstract

The rate of warming in the Arctic depends upon the response of low-level microphysical and radiative cloud properties to aerosols advected from distant anthropogenic and biomass-burning sources. Cloud droplet cross-section density increases with higher concentrations of cloud condensation nuclei, leading to an increase of cloud droplet absorption and scattering radiative cross sections. The challenge of assessing the magnitude of the effect has been decoupling the aerosol impacts on clouds from how clouds change solely due to natural meteorological variability. Here we address this issue with large, multi-year satellite, meteorological, and tracer transport model data sets to show that the response of low-level clouds in the Arctic to anthropogenic aerosols lies close to a theoretical maximum and is between 2 and 8 times higher than has been observed elsewhere. However, a previously described response of arctic clouds to biomass-burning plumes appears to be overstated because the interactions are rare and modification of cloud radiative properties appears better explained by coincident changes in temperature, humidity, and atmospheric stability.

LanguageEnglish (US)
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018

Fingerprint

aerosols
aerosol
liquid
sensitivity
liquids
cloud droplet
biomass burning
cross section
cloud condensation nucleus
meteorological satellites
condensation nuclei
humidity
plume
warming
tracer
cross sections
scattering
decoupling
plumes
tracers

Keywords

  • Aerosol-cloud interactions
  • Arctic
  • Cloud microphysics
  • First indirect effect
  • Twomey effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Cite this

High Sensitivity of Arctic Liquid Clouds to Long-Range Anthropogenic Aerosol Transport. / Coopman, Q.; Garrett, T. J.; Finch, D. P.; Riedi, J.

In: Geophysical Research Letters, 01.01.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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